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Empowering Families Through the School Choice Journey

February 6, 2018 BY The SchoolMint Collective

Every Family Deserves a Choice

School choice is a nationwide movement driven by increasing demand for diverse and specialized education options. As part of School Choice Week, a recent article on The74 explains how states are empowering families to choose the best education fit for their child, whether it be a traditional public school, charter school, magnet school, private school, online academy, or homeschooling. Yet, many families face barriers to enrollment in the form of inadequate school information, financial restraints, and time requirements of cumbersome enrollment processes.

As families struggle to navigate the maze of available school options and juggle multiple application and registration deadlines, millions of students from across the nation end up mismatched with schools that fail to meet their interests or their needs.

School Choice that Puts Families First

Every child, regardless of race, income, background, or zip code has the right to attend a school best suited for their needs. However, when districts don’t take necessary steps to set families up for success, school choice becomes illusory and unattainable for the majority of families. School districts that recognize this challenge are working to remove barriers and level the playing field with an equitable enrollment process. District leaders are leveraging technology to elevate the parent experience, increasing parent engagement and promoting equitable access to available school options.

Technology as an Asset in School Choice

Using both email and text messaging, schools are able to connect with families and lead them through the enrollment process, providing timely communications and updates in regards to their child’s enrollment status. To further increase equity for all families, many schools and cities are supporting their families with easily accessible school information in the form of a School Finder.

Building trust with families by improving access to transparent information about your schools, programs, and enrollment processes is key in helping your families take advantage of school choice. This is a challenge that Cleveland Metropolitan School District was grappling with. With over 30,000 applications for their choice programs, CMSD was struggling to manage the choice, selection, matching, waitlist, and registration process. The school choice process was complex and clunky for parents and school choices were being selected inconsistently.

These barriers drove CMSD to partner with SchoolMint and move their enrollment process online to better manage their high volume of application data and provide timely communications to their families.

Cleveland is amongst many forward-thinking school districts, like Denver Public Schools, Oakland Unified School District, and Chicago Public Schools, who are making an effort to improve the family school choice experience and increase participation in school choice programs.

If your district is ready to take a more strategic approach to student enrollment, book a 10-minute conversation with our Enrollment Specialists and find out how SchoolMint can transform your enrollment experience.